Deficiencies in overall caloric and protein intake usually happen when the child has no access to food, probably due to financial constraints. Likewise, it can also occur when they have severe health conditions that affect nutrient absorption or lead to profound appetite loss.
Please note that generally, children are vulnerable to undernutrition because they are growing faster; hence, they need a lot of calories.
Types of Undernutrition
We can further divide undernutrition into:
Marasmus results from severe deficiency of both calories and protein. It commonly happens in kids and produces symptoms like weight loss, dehydration, as well as fat and muscle loss. For babies, the best way to prevent marasmus is for the mother to breastfeed.
Kwashiorkor is also one of the types of malnutrition. It occurs when a child has more deficiency of protein than calories, usually when they have a high intake of carbohydrates but a low intake of protein.
Kwashiorkor is less common, and it tends to happen in older children or those who have been weaned. Kids who have kwashiorkor often appear puffier; sometimes, their tummies also protrude.
It often happens when children have no access to food for a long time. The most prominent symptom of starvation is excessive weight loss.
Second in our types of malnutrition is micronutrient-related malnutrition. Micronutrients, which we often refer to as vitamins and minerals, are crucial in producing substances like hormones and enzymes.